Wells Fargo & Co. chairman Paul Hazen told the Federal Reserve on Monday that a merger with First Interstate Bancorp would bring more jobs, inner-city lending, and small-business financing to California.

"A Wells Fargo-First Interstate merger would mean an increased number of benefits from policies that have made Wells one of the first banks to get an 'outstanding' Community Reinvestment Act grade," said Mr. Hazen, who also is Wells' chief executive.

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